Saturday July 23, 2016
Feature of the Week

[Fish-N-Grits] Hipsters need not apply!

J-Zone review

Latest News Headlines
Video: Nametag Alexander - "Down" (@NametagAlxndr @JRSwiftz)

Video: Nametag Alexander - "Down"

LABL: Stay Redd Productions x LABL present the official and full narrative video for Nametag Alexander's summertime vibe single "Down" prod. by JR Swiftz. The single appears on Nametag's "METAL LETTER EP" available now on all platforms to download and stream music. The "Down" video features actress Tiffany Black and actor: Jeph Cage.

Audio: @ToriiWolf @RealDJPremier - "Shadows Crawl"

Audio: Torii Wolf & DJ Premier - "Shadows Crawl" (prod. DJ Premier)

Matt: “Shadows Crawl” continues to display the musical symmetry and bond Torii developed with Premier; “Preem played me this beat he made for Yuna that she didn’t end up using and I instantly felt connected to it” Torii relayed to Vibe. “I’ve never been a good sleeper, I sleep in tiny intervals, if at all, and when I do I talk in my sleep. It’s such a vulnerable place, to be verbally expressive and not know what could creep out of your subconscious. I love Preem’s vibe on this record, it brings me to that “Eldritch Place” (wondrous and curious places). Performing “Shadows Crawl” together live has been unreal.”

Audio: Blu & Nottz EP - "Titans In The Flesh" (@HerFavColor @NottzRaw)

Audio: Blu & Nottz EP - "Titans In The Flesh"

Coalmine: Titans In The Flesh is now available through iTunes and all major digital retailers, via Coalmine Records. Easter-yellow vinyl copies are also available in limited supply, equipped with the instrumental and acapella passes of “The Man,” and the instrumental for “Heaven on Earth.”

Video: @ZionI - "Tech $" + "Stay Woke" Mixtape (@BallinPR)

Video: Zion I - "Tech $" + "Stay Woke" Mixtape

Ballin: This song was written in response to the rapid gentrification happening in Oakland, CA. Leave a comment on your experience with gentrification in your area. Directed by Anthony Cole for Lightworkers Republic.

Zion I drops his latest mixtape, “Stay Woke,” continues with his message of social consciousness, urging folks to wake up. Production is shared by Mikos DaGawd, HawkBeatz, Khristo, and Headnodic.


1. Stay Intro prod by Mikos da Gawd
2. Sun (Irie) prod by Headnodic
3. Tech $ prod by Mikos da Gawd
4. Firearms prod by Khristo
5. Saving Souls prod by Mikos da Gawd
6. Infinite/ Interlude feat Adam Vida prod by Mikos da Gawd
7. Everytime prod by Mikos da Gawd
8. Sriracha feat Deuce Eclipse prod by Mikos da Gawd
9. Come Equipped prod by Mikos da Gawd
10. She Love Me prod by HawkBeatz
11. Only That Real feat Raashan Ahmad prod by Headnodic
12. Woke Outro prod by Mikos da Gawd
Audio: IDE - "Grudges" (@IDE1043 @CJMHipHop)

Audio: IDE - "Grudges"

CJM: For close to two decades, IDE has been producing music and operating an independent record label: Creative Juices Music. A life-long entrepreneur of New York City Hip-Hop culture, IDE has released an extensive catalog of albums working with the best artists in the genre from Golden Era Emcees and Battle Legends, to some of the most talented and original underground hip-hop acts.

Audio: @J57 - "The Wizard of O.D.D."

Audio: J57 - "The Wizard of O.D.D."

J: Dropped a new instrumental loosie today called "The Wizard of O.D.D." via my lable FiveSe7en Music!

@LilBibby_ Says Gucci Mane Is His Idol, G Herbo's Stupid for Doing Lean (@DJVlad)

Lil Bibby Says Gucci Mane Is His Idol, G Herbo's Stupid for Doing Lean

Vlad TV: Bibby told DJ Vlad that he tried to give G Herbo advice on ditching the habit - he claims cost him $50K - but explains that his friend would have to make the decision on his own. "Eveytime he do the lean, I just look at him like 'Man, bro, you're stupid.' But, you know people that's doing that, they don't like to hear that."

The (W)rap Up - Week of July 12, 2016

If you missed any of the new reviews this past week including Lil Yachty's "Lil Boat" then do yourself a favor and check out this week's edition of the (W)rap Up!

[Lil Boat] Lil Yachty :: Lil Boat
Quality Control Music

Author: Michael G. Barilleaux

"There is a strange, fluffy, theme park-like vibe to Atlanta rapper Lil Yachty's debut project "Lil Boat." Something about the way each song progresses, both within itself and on to the following track, feels like one big, playful bouncy house. Yachty himself described his music in a recent interview as "bubblegum trap." This label may not sound appealing to many hip hop fans, but in reality is a quite honest and insightful evaluation. As "Lil Boat" casually and gleefully sails through the waters of current Atlanta trap trends, it makes constant ripples of individuality. When torn down to just strict lyrical and instrumental standards, there is not a great deal here to be admired. When evaluated through a different lens, however, something more can be found. No - Yachty is not a superb lyricist. Lines like "Diamonds so cold you might need a fan," off the opening track "Intro (Just Keep Swimming)" and the multitude of others just like it are nothing to hold on a pedestal. In the same way the plastic keyboard sounds and seemingly recycled snares of "Good Day" show no exquisite beat work. Nevertheless something else about lines and production on "Lil Boat" bring something more interesting to the table - their mood. Yachty's lyrics on this project exude a sense of innocence, friendliness, and bliss. While he has been classified vocally by some as a member of the Future knock-off camp, the lack of street ego gravitas in his music makes it much different from the majority of his contemporaries. For while he may flaunt his diamonds, he does not come across as sincerely boasting about them in the truest sense; he is not throwing said diamonds in your face like you've never seen one before."

Dane Uno :: Kool Keith presents Project Radiation :: Junkadelic Music 
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Project Radiation] The fact that Kool Keith thought enough of Dane Uno to put a "presents" stamp on his album and release it through his home label of Junkadelic (at least that's where Keith and most of his friends drop these days) caught my eye. Now I can't say Keith's discretion when it comes to his own music is ideal. Some of Mr. Thornton's recent solo work filled with self-produced tracks that fit the definition of "vanity project," forcing even his hardcore fans to wonder if it needed to exit the studio and enter our ear canals. His labelmates generally fare better though and produce interesting work that's above the average in quality and listenability. That meant it was time to give Dane Uno a shot and see if he could produce something comparable to compadres like Marc Live or Mr. Sche a/k/a Big Sche Eastwood. First a little background on Uno just so you know, and you'll just have to take it at face value since I have no way to cross reference the accuracy of his bio. Dane was "mentored by No I.D.'s right hand man Dug Infinite" coming up in Chicago and worked with both Kanye West and BOOGZ on a local radio favorite called "Game Changes." I tried hard to find that track but that search just brings you articles on "How Kanye West Changed The Game" and if you tweak it to get better results they all wind up being about Jayceon Taylor instead. Anyway it's safe to say he's from the Windy City and linked up with Keith at some point along the way, and Keith thought enough of him to cameo on "Filet Mignon" and "Jump Around In That Closet," producing the latter. It's worth noting that Keith's alias on the credits is Number One Producer, but this isn't a track those same critics Thornton hates will complain about much. The backdrop walks a fine line between trap, bounce and grime and it sounds just fine."

Da' T.R.U.T.H. :: It's Complicated :: Music Makes Me Happy 
as reviewed by Matt Jost

[It's Complicated]"Several years ago Christian rapper Da' T.R.U.T.H. briefly appeared on my radar when he was the musical guest at a teenager's birthday extravaganza on MTV's My Super Sweet 16 show and when indie rap giant Tech N9ne mentioned him in the song "Holier Than Thou." Both these chance cameos point to a potential role as a mediator between two worlds. He's the rapper religious parents deem appropriate for their daughter's birthday bash, and he's the role model a spiritually inclined secular rapper like Tech N9ne looks to for advice (a plea that was - apparently - met with silence, hence the reproachful "Holier Than Thou"). My notion before going into his new album was that crossover sensation Lecrae is actually the MC who walks that line best, and if I let Tech tell it (in his typical impulsive manner), Da' T.R.U.T.H. would be the kind of Christian artist who is happy to preach to the choir, reflecting the self-contained attitude of certain Christian congregations who divide the world into 'us' and 'them'. I wouldn't have bothered to familiarize myself with Da' T.R.U.T.H. at this point if it wasn't for the title of his latest, "It's Complicated." Simple answers are always suspect to me, so any record with a theological footing that actually dares to admit that "it's complicated" has my attention. And I probably shouldn't complain that said record is itself complicated (or further complicates the matter for me). I don't regret occupying myself with "It's Complicated," because it's a challenging piece of music that has accompanied me for several weeks."

Jme :: Integrity :: Boy Better Know 
as reviewed by Michael G. Barilleaux

[Integrity]"Grime is on the rise, and Jme is just as big a part of it as anyone. On "Integrity," the third album of his career, Jme brings a project to the UK hip hop scene that embodies the very essence of grime music in many ways, but simultaneously lets it down. Now some would consider it controversial to say that grime is part of hip hop, or even a sub-genre. Nevertheless, a perfectly good case can be made for calling artists rapping to a beat at least a form of hip hop. Either way, that topic deserves an article of its own. There are several artists, such as Skepta, Stormzy, and Krept and Konan, who are doing a great deal to move grime forward. The result of this is a resurgence of grime in the last few years that is worth paying close attention to. What listeners find on "Integrity," however, is not the best representation of this. Nevertheless, there are bright spots on this record that deserve to be mentioned first. For one, Jme's ambidextrous flow is certainly one to be admired. This is heard in places such as on "Amen" when on the first verse Jme moves effortlessly and powerfully through bars"
Audio: @SadatX @Rhymefest - "Imagine"

Audio: Sadat X f/ Rhymefest - "Imagine"

Matt: One fourth of the seminal hip-hop group Brand Nubian (which also included Grand Puba, Lord Jamar and DJ Alamo), Sadat X returns with his new solo-album, Agua, which will be released on Tommy Boy Records.

Audio: @MarQSpekt @BlockheadNYC - "Point Break" (@HiPNOTT)

Audio: MarQ Spekt & Blockhead - "Point Break"

HiPNOTT: MarQ Spekt returns with producer Blockhead to deliver the followup to their 2014 album JustPlayWitIt. Their sophomore album gives us more of that grilchiness from MarQ Spekt's Philly roots and Blockhead's New York 90s era production.

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Welcome to for the week of July 19th, 2016!! Please shop Amazon through RapReviews and like us on Facebook so we can bring you new material every week. This week we've got TEN ITEMS for you so let's get down to business starting with editorials on rap videos about police brutality and what "grime" music is anyway, JG Thirwell's "Music of the Venture Bros. Volume Two," Johnny Richter's "School's Out (Still Laughing)," Steve 'Flash' Juon's The Hip-Hop Shop #384, J-Zone's "Fish-N-Grits" (our featured review), a MMA interview with Daniel Weichel, Sy Shackleford's Marc 2Ray Interview, T-Nutty's "Blue Venom" and Emanuel Wallace's The (W)rap Up for July 12, 2016!

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